Alcohol: What Is It Good For? Beneficial Qualities Of Alcohol Are Greatly Exaggerated

People who drink alcohol are often sincerely convinced that they are not damaging their health, at least in those cases when they drink moderately. Alcohol indeed does not have such a bad name and hideous hype as nicotine, for example; people thus think that drinking is not harmful but is even beneficial to health. Everyone knows about that proverbial glass of wine that is purportedly as wholesome as an apple a day. Read, however, why alcohol’s therapeutic qualities are overrated.  

1.Misconception 1: Alcohol Is Low In Calories

Alcohol, in truth, is high in calories; and the stronger is a drink, the more calories it contains. To make matters worse, our bodies do not recognize calories in alcohol as well as they differentiate between calories contained in food. When we eat, some calories contained in food get burned and some of them are stored as fat. When we drink, our bodies do not select between calories but convert all of them into fat.

2.Misconception 2: Alcohol Is A Good Appetizer

Many believe that alcohol stimulates appetite; therefore, people drink some alcohol before eating so that they could eat heartily. Yet, in fact, this rule does not include all alcoholic beverages and not all quantities of them. What does trigger appetite is a small quantity of such strong drink as vodka. But even in this case, you will feel hungry only after at least twenty minutes since your alcohol intake. Drinking a shot in order to arouse your appetite immediately before eating, while you are already sitting at the dinner table, would not influence your appetite in the slightest.

3.Misconception 3: Alcohol Increases Ability To Work

Some people think that a small amount of alcohol enhances thinking processes and general muscle tonus; that is, they maintain that slightly intoxicated people think sharper and solve problems quicker. Scientists, however, disagree. They say that even though tipsy people might indeed have quicker cognitive and physical reactions, these reactions are often wrong. Drunken people also have poor concentration and make faulty conclusions.

4.Misconception 4: Alcohol Lowers Blood Pressure

People think that those who have high blood pressure should drink alcohol, since it dilates blood vessels. Although alcohol does widen blood vessels, it simultaneously increases the heart rate. The increase of the heart pulse means that more blood is pushed into bloodstreams. The more blood is pushed into bloodstreams, the higher becomes blood pressure, because the measurements of blood pressure directly depend on the amount of blood flowing into bloodstreams.  Alcohol, therefore, does not lower blood pressure but actually increases it.

5.Misconception 5: Alcohol Cures Cold

Many are convinced that alcohol should be taken as a remedy for colds and angina. When your throat is sore and when you are coughing, vodka can do wonders to your health, warming your throat up and killing germs while passing through it. In reality, however, vodka makes your throat ache even more. A glass of grog or warm wine do not cure your angina, either, even though these beverages might, to a certain extent, stimulate your immune system.

6.Misconception 6: Alcohol Warms You Up

The biggest misconception about alcohol is that it warms you up, when you are cold. Many people resort to such means in cold weather. But it is only 50 grams of alcohol that warm you up. More of alcohol only cools you down. When you drink more than 50 grams of alcohol, blood rushes to your skin, making it read and warming all your body up. Simultaneously, however, heat transfer from your body increases and, according to the First Rule of Thermodynamics,  it begins to cool down rapidly.

7.Misconception 7: Good Quality Alcohol Does Not Harm

Any alcoholic beverage is harmful, because alcohol invariably contains acetaldehyde, one of the decomposition products of ethyl alcohol. Acetaldehyde is responsible for the damage alcohol causes to our brains and bodies. It does not thus matter how much a certain alcoholic drink costs, though cheaper beverages are worse than expensive ones, since, together with acetaldehyde, they also contain the fusel oil intensifying our alcoholic intoxication.

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